Titan A.E.

Destined to be together. Akima and Cale huddle in the bowels of the Drej warship...
dir Don Bluth, Gary Goldman
scr Ben Edlund, John August, Joss Whedon
voices Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo, John Leguizamo, Tone Loc, Ron Perlman, Alex D Linz, Charles Rocket, Jim Cummings, David L Lander
Fox 00/US 3 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Fox went out on a limb with this unusual, ambitious film combining state-of-the-art special effects with animated characters. And Titan A.E. certainly looks fantastic, from the eye-popping outer space stuff to the realistic character design. Unfortunately, they didn't put as much thought into the script.

Cale (voiced by Damon) is a loner who has let his bitterness grow ever since the vicious Drej blew up his home planet Earth 15 years earlier (AE stands for After Earth). Then he runs into Korso (Pullman), who explains that Cale is the key to finding his father's Titan spacecraft, which can somehow reunite the human race. So off he goes with Korso and his crew--sexy pilot (Barrymore), bitter first officer (Lane), cranky weapons specialist (Grofalo), whiny mad scientist (Leguizamo). Hotly pursued by the Drej, who want to find Titan first and put an end to these pathetic earthlings once and for all.

The film's visual attention to detail is remarkable, with amazing textures and colours, lots of invigorating camera "movement" and continuous action and humour. Yet there's nothing underneath. The characters are so bland that we don't really care about anyone. The action sequences are basically just video games without any depth or interest. The plot itself is riddled with holes. And chunks of the story and visuals are stolen liberally from Star Wars. Even if it's not engaging or gripping, it's still an entertaining film. It's just a pity its makers couldn't come up with a story and characters half as original as the images.

[PG--suspense, innuendo, violence] 1.Aug.00
US release 16.Jun.00; UK release 28.Jul.00

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall